Tuesday, February 26, 2008

More of the Same

The problem with knitting large, slow projects is that it's hard to show progress in pictures. I keep knitting and you'll have to trust me that the project gets bigger, but you just can't really see it.

I have two big projects going right now: the Inishmore sweater and the Jeanie shawl. Unfortunately I found in the last week that it is difficult to go back and forth between the two because they have such different "hands," if that makes sense. Inishmore has me working twisted and cable stitches in aran weight wool on small (size 5) needles. It requires a very heavy knitting hand. Jeanie, however, is all ribbing, with dropped stitches, using a fingering weight silk/wool blend on big needles (6's). Because of this, I find that Jeanie requires a delicate touch (for me, at least) and concentration. Both projects are slow going. And it is very difficult to get my hands used to the different projects when I move from one to the other.

I don't have a new picture of Jeanie because it does not look much different from the last time I photographed it. Although I spent a lot of time on it last week, I only have a measly 2 or 3 more inches to show for all my work. Currently, the shawl is about 12 inches long, with about 58 inches to go (plus edging). This weekend, I decided to put Jeanie away for a while and to concentrate on Inishmore, which seemed more appropriate for the cold February weather.

I neared the top of the first sleeve and did some measurements. To my surprise, I found that I was meeting the gauge set in the pattern, even though my swatch had indicated that I was getting less stitches to the inch. I don't know why I was surprised--swatches lie all the time, right? So. I had cast on for the small size sleeve because I thought my gauge was big; since my gauge is correct I adjusted to do the medium size. Luckily, this was pretty easy to do with a sleeve. Actually, that is why I did a sleeve as my first piece. I love it when I do something right. :o)

I finished the main part of the sleeve, and left the middle stitches on a holder to do the saddle later. I want to do the body pieces first so I know how long the saddle will need to be.
Then I started the second sleeve. Why a sleeve and not the back or the front? I have no idea. I was on knitting autopilot and, for unknown reasons, I did a sleeve instead.

I also did some work on a smaller project: the bellamoden fingerless mitts. I finished one, and even figured out how to make a thumb, although I did not enjoy it very much. Tiny rounds of 14 stitches. It was very strange.
It is super pretty though. The yarn is gorgeous and very soft. Although the name of this colorway is "Iliad," it reminds me more of a wild garden in full bloom. I am creeping along on the second one. But Inishmore is addictive and I am spending most of my knitting time working on that.

In other news, Rudolph is enjoying his new window perch.

The kids and I also got a little carried away last week on one of those weird days when it felt like April or May outside and did this:
We planted our seeds. And they came up already! Holy smokes! They were supposed to take 2 or 3 weeks to come up, not 3 days! Looks like our first lettuce and broccoli crops this year may end up in pots by the kitchen windows instead of in the garden.

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